Continuing on where we left off last time, here are the other three marketing consulting principles to keep in mind when promoting your consulting services:
Principle 4 – High Tech Means Business
Buyers do not have time to sift through all the promotional material. As a professional consultant, your insight and forward-thinking add to the value of your product. As a forward thinking professional, you need to be on the cutting edge of technology. Be accessible via the internet and by one of the many new age telecommunications systems. Be ahead of the competition, in front of the marketplace and on top of all news as it happens. Do not settle for second place. Be the easiest consultant to reach, be up-to-the minute on your field of expertise and show all clients that you mean business.
The consultant’s internet presence must be informative. Post information that will create a following. Make your site the place people reference when seeking information in your field of expertise. As saturated with marketing ploys as today’s buyers are, they always find time for the latest information about their business. Make sure your marketing plan has a compelling internet presence that drives the market to your consulting practice.
Principle 5 – Define Your Financial Responsibilities
Your marketing plan should define the consulting business’s financial goals. In developing those goals, recognize the value of your services and how that value transcends to the bottom line. It is natural to be flattered by the buyer’s confidence in your ability. Too often consultants let that go to their heads. As a professional, you must make hard decisions. One of those decisions will determine what projects are financially appropriate. When determining a project’s value, refer to your marketing plan. If the value is not there, be prepared to walk away. If the value is there, get the contract in place and enjoy the work and the ensuing profits.
Principle 6 – Apply the Basics but Retain Flexibility
When you develop your consultant marketing plan, you will begin with the basics; your vision of your consultancy business, determination of the value of your consulting services and identification of your markets. While you should stay within that framework, you must retain the ability to suit each client. Refrain from standardized presentations, slogans and business models. Show your understanding of the client’s needs by applying your basics to the client’s needs. Your ability to successfully craft your product to the client will separate your from the competition.
Use this exercise to thoroughly examine each project. Never be surprised by a project’s scope, details or workload. Before accepting a project, identify the strengths, the weaknesses and the challenging aspects. While you must have balance between attracting new projects and maintaining the integrity of your marketing plan, you should not accept work that is outside the marketing plan. Your marketing plan holds the keys to your flexibility. If the project is right, unleash the full force of your plan.